Dock material to length


This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to prepare and dock material to length with a power driven saw. Work is completed in forest products factory setting and includes operator maintenance.

The unit applies to Timber Manufacturing Worker, Production Worker, Customer Service Assistant, and Sawmill Worker.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory, or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the range of conditions.

1. Prepare for cutting

1.1 Review work order and where required check with appropriate personnel.

1.2 Identify type and quantity of materials to be cut and obtain from storage.

1.3 Select appropriate equipment and check for operational effectiveness in line with manufacturer's recommendations.

1.4 Interpret cutting list and plan material cutting patterns and saw set-up sequences in line with work order.

2. Cut material to length

2.1 Mark up material and set stops in preparation for cutting.

2.2 Use equipment and machinery in line with organisational procedures, manufacturer's instructions and environmental protection practices.

2.3 Follow cutting sequence and patterns to produce required quantity.

2.4 Check cuts for length within a set tolerance.

2.5 Dispose of incorrect cuts, off-cuts and material with defects in line with environmental protection practices.

2.6 Stack material safely in designated location in line with work order requirements.

2.7 Identify routine processing and equipment faults and resolve or report to appropriate personnel.

2.8 Complete production and quality records and report in line with organisational procedures.

3. Complete operator maintenance

3.1 Follow organisational safety procedures to lock out equipment.

3.2 Check saw blades for blunt or damaged condition

3.3 Repair or send for repair blunt saw blades according to organisational site procedures and manufacturer’s instructions

3.4 Recycle or dispose of used blades in line with organisational procedures and environmental protection practices

3.5 Complete basic non-specialist maintenance for equipment.

3.6 Keep saw area clear of dust, off-cuts and debris.

3.7 Record and report equipment faults and maintenance requirements to appropriate personnel.

Evidence of Performance

A person demonstrating competency in this unit must satisfy all of the elements, performance criteria and foundation skills of this unit. If a specific volume or frequency is not stated below, then evidence must be provided that the following requirements have been performed on at least one occasion:

follow organizational policies and procedures relevant to docking material to length

cut material to length in line with a work order and within prescribed organisational tolerances

stack batches of cut material in line with organisational procedures

complete basic non-specialist maintenance including:

cleaning the machine of wood chips and sawdust

replacing blunt cutters or saw blades according to site procedures

inspecting machine parts for wear or damage, including guards

greasing and lubricating moving parts

checking the operation of emergency stop buttons and lock out systems.

Evidence of Knowledge

A person competent in this unit must be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

cutting patterns and sequences for single angles requiring one cutting pass or single vertical cuts

optimal docking practices

range of industry standard lengths, cross sections and tolerances and applicable terminology

types of tools and equipment used for docking material to length; their purpose, features, operation and basic non-specialist repair and maintenance:

measuring equipment

manually controlled docking and trimming saws

bench saws

radial arm saws

saws with adjustable angle

saws with automatic feed

saws with one blade

table saws

methods for assessing saw blade condition

environmental protection practices for forest products factory settings:

reducing water and energy use

cleaning plant, tools and equipment

disposing of, recycling and reusing timber and blunt saw blades

storage layout and categories for:

raw materials

stacking finished materials

typical timber defects and how these affect ability to produce a quality finished product:





insect defects


resin pockets

organisational procedures specific to docking material to length:

workplace health and safety with particular emphasis on equipment lock out

use and maintenance of equipment

communication reporting lines

recording and reporting production outcomes and equipment faults.

Assessment Conditions

The following resources must be made available:

tools and equipment used to dock material to length:

measuring equipment

manually controlled docking and trimming saws

bench saws

radial arm saws

saws with adjustable angle

saws with automatic feed

saws with one blade

table saws

maintenance tools and equipment for saws

consumable components; saw blades

personal protective equipment suitable for docking material to length

a diverse, comprehensive and commercial product range of timber

manufacturer instructions for equipment use and operator maintenance

work order with specific instructions for cutting timber

documents, spreadsheets and commonly used proformas documents for recording production outcomes and equipment faults

relevant personnel for the purposes of communicating information

organisational procedures for docking material to length.

Competency is to be assessed in the workplace or a simulated environment that accurately reflects performance in a real workplace setting.

Assessor requirements

Assessors must:

hold the appropriate assessor competency standards as outlined in regulations; and

be able to demonstrate vocational competencies at least to the level being assessed; and

be able to demonstrate how they are continuing to develop their VET knowledge and skills as well as maintaining their industry currency and assessor competence

Foundation Skills

This section describes those core and employment skills that are essential to performance and are not explicit in the performance criteria.

Numeracy skills to:

identify quantities of required material within work orders and count raw materials

complete basic calculations of required length to determine saw set up

complete routine production records involving dimensions and quantities tallied against orders.

Oral communication skills to:

ask open and closed probe questions and actively listen to clarify contents of work orders

make accurate verbal reports on processing and equipment faults.

Reading skills to:


workplace health and safety and other organisational procedures

work orders

manufacturers’ instructions and maintenance recommendations.

Writing skills to:

complete accurate basic records for production outcomes, equipment faults and maintenance requirements.

Planning and organising skills to:

efficiently and logically sequence the stages of preparation and production using work order to guide activities.

Problem-solving skills to:

identify and dispose of incorrect cuts and defective material

recognise faulty equipment and resolve by reporting or rectifying.

Technology skills to:

select, use and maintain appropriate machinery, tools and personal protective equipment used for machining activities.

Range Statement

Not Applicable


Common Technical; applies across sectors